A Day in the Life of a (Hurt) Cross Country Runner

Running cross country isn’t a jog in the park. It consists of early morning runs, chugging bottles of water throughout the day and trying to salvage a healthy meal the night before a race. However, through this less than glamorous lifestyle, there is one girl who somehow manages to balance it all.

I like to start my day bright and early. Specifically waking up at 5:30 to my alarm blasting Relient K’s “Be my Escape.” I then proceed to get ready for the day. Once the daily hygiene routine is complete, it is usually around 6:40. With the leftover time, I get some homework done that I didn’t finish the night before. I also get my bag ready. I put my homework inside along with a granola bar for when hunger strikes.

At 7:20, I make my way to the dinning common with a back pack slung over one shoulder and a water bottle in hand. My breakfast consists of a bagel with cream cheese, a nice refreshing glass of water, a banana on the side and two smuggled-in gummy multivitamins. After breakfast I head back to the dorm because on Tuesdays and Thursday I have the luxury of having one class at 10. In my dorm I continue working on my homework along with a few minutes here and there goofing off. As 9:40 rolls around, I head for my anthropology class.

Throughout this hour and twenty-minute class, I am constantly sipping water to keep myself hydrated. It’s Tuesday. Which means it is going to be a gut-wrenching workout. After the class, I go into the library where I wait for my teammate to get out of her class. While waiting, I rummage through my bag for the granola bar I packed earlier. A flash of panic hits but quickly resides as my fingers wrap around the familiar feel of the rectangular treat. Like a rare delicacy, I gingerly open the package and inhale the honey goodness. I wash it down with more water.

Finally my teammate is out of class and we go to Walton. Once inside the dining commons, we scope every station. From the grill to the deli, we slowly peruse our choices. Keeping in mind the looming challenge later today, we settle on a soup and salad combination. Fast forward to the moment of truth. Its 3:45, and Coach is delivering the verdict. Mile repeats. Unfortunately I’m not with the team as they board the vans and head off to Wissahickon. I am sitting in the trainer’s room, waiting for the doctor. I have been plagued with Achilles’ pain.

For a runner to be injured during season is like clipping a birds wings in its prime. I’m anxious for what the doctor says. After an agonizing wait, the doctor arrives. He seems kind and he asks me a few questions about my Achilles’. Much to my relief, he says that I am improving. Slowly but surely I am making my way back to being 100% healthy.

A forty-five minute bike ride and 10 icing session later, I am waiting in Walton for my team to get back from their grueling workout. When they arrive I see the exhaustion on their face. Over a dinner, they recount the sweat and tears of their workout. Soon dinner wraps up, and I am going back to Hainer. There I will get homework done and once again prepare for the next day. To some, this lifestyle can seem redundant. Especially riding a stationary bike for two weeks. But knowing that my team is working hard encourages me to keep fighting. In the end when each individual improves, we all move up as a team.

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